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Long-time jobless become new faces of foreclosure crisis

With no job and his savings depleted, Gregg London couldn't pay his family's mortgage of about $2,700.

Still, he was confident his years in business equipped him to negotiate a lower payment with IndyMac Mortgage and save their Mount Holly home. For more than eight months, however, he and his life partner were trapped in a maddening loan modification morass.

Last month, the Sheriff's Office served a notice of foreclosure.

"This is heartbreak stuff," said London, his voice breaking. "They make you feel like you're scum."

The Londons are the newest face of borrowers at risk of losing their homes.

They had good credit and a six-figure income more than adequate for their $515,000 house.

Then London joined the growing ranks of the unemployed. Savings and help from family kept the bills paid for the first year. But an unrelenting lack of jobs pushed London, 48, to ask the bank for help.

And the loan modification that had seemed so simple spiraled into a series of lost and expired documents, long waits, high hopes and crushing rejections without explanation.

"This story is outrageous, and is exactly the kind of experience that demonstrates how ineffective the current foreclosure prevention system is," said Mark Pearce, North Carolina's top mortgage regulator.

To read the complete article, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.

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